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Microsoft Ignites New Opportunities for Web Professionals With WebsiteSpark Program

24 September, 2009 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Building upon its commitment to foster innovation and success for professional Web developers and designers, Microsoft Corp. today announced the WebsiteSpark Program, an initiative designed to create a partner network and help enable business growth for professional Web development and design companies with up to 10 employees and owners. In addition, Microsoft announced the release of the Web Platform Installer 2.0 and the Windows Web Application Gallery 2.0, furthering the success of the Microsoft Web Platform. Together, these initiatives make it easier for Web professionals to build richer, more compelling Web experiences.
As the latest initiative in the Spark family of programs, which includes Microsoft BizSpark and DreamSpark, Microsoft is building upon a legacy of working with key communities and providing the additional support, tools and resources needed to help them thrive. The WebsiteSpark Program provides Web professionals with Microsoft software and solutions, together with related tools, training and support, to help their businesses succeed. The WebsiteSpark Program also helps drive new business opportunities by connecting Web professionals and hosters with an ecosystem of customers, partners and other professionals with complementary technologies.

"Developers are the lifeblood of our business, and we are wholly committed to ensuring their success," said Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business division.

"WebsiteSpark makes Microsoft’s Web development tools and support more accessible to developers and designers at small companies as they create inventive applications for the Web. Our third Spark program, WebsiteSpark furthers our commitment to ignite innovation among key communities and individuals."

Web development and design companies with up to 10 employees and owners can participate in the WebsiteSpark Program for three years with no up-front cost. There is only a $100 program offering fee, payable at exit, with no other costs or obligations. Once approved, these companies can have access to the following:

  • Microsoft Web design and development tools, including three licenses of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, two licenses of Microsoft Expression Web 3 and one license of Microsoft Expression Studio 3
  • Four processor licenses for production usage to Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 (when available) and four processor licenses for production usage to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
  • A third-party premium Web site control panel (DotNetPanel)

Participating companies also will receive the following professional support and training:

  • Two technical support incidents per company
  • Access to community support through connections with Network Partners, Hosting Partners and peers with complementary services and technologies
  • Unlimited access to technical managed newsgroups on MSDN
  • Unlimited program support for nontechnical issues

In addition to software, solutions, training and support, the program will extend the reach of participating companies by featuring their offerings in a WebsiteSpark marketplace, supported by Microsoft marketing vehicles. This marketplace, available this fall, will help them connect with new prospective customers worldwide.

Furthermore, the WebsiteSpark Program provides a powerful global partner ecosystem to help support Web professionals’ success. Around the world, partners such as Aruba Networks Inc., Bitrix Inc., Elance Inc., Ikoula, PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. and Strato are providing business guidance and technical services to help these companies jump-start their development projects.

"BizSpark has been one of the best partner programs in the industry for helping startup businesses get off the ground, and the WebsiteSpark Program provides an even bigger opportunity for hosting companies and the Web community," said Robert Miggins, senior vice president of business development for PEER 1. "We see a lot of Web developers and Web agencies choosing the Microsoft platform to build their Web applications and Web sites, and we are committed to help them be successful."

Build Applications More Quickly With the Microsoft Web Platform

Available today as part of the Microsoft Web Platform, the Web Platform Installer 2.0 provides developers with a simplified installation of Microsoft products and technologies that helps reduce download complexity and includes new additions such as IIS Media Services and a Windows Azure software development kit (SDK). Improved package handling enables developers to download components of the Microsoft Web Platform once, and deploy or redeploy component packages on multiple machines, saving bandwidth and time.

With the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, developers also can access dozens of free, open-code, ready-to-install Web applications to help build their Web sites and applications, whether they’re developing in ASP.NET or PHP. This includes more than 20 new applications, from both Microsoft and the larger community, via the Windows Web Application Gallery, such as WordPress, DotNetNuke, Acquia Drupal, SugarCRM and Umbraco. In addition, the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, the Windows Web Application Gallery and http://www.microsoft.com/web, Microsoft’s core Web site, is now available to an international developer audience in nine languages.

Enroll in the WebsiteSpark Program

Microsoft’s WebsiteSpark Program is now available worldwide. Interested Web professionals can learn more about enrolling in the program by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark.

Download the Microsoft Web Platform Installer Today

The Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 is available worldwide and can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/web.

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